Harlem Renaissance By Nathan Irvin Huggins

1665 Words7 Pages
During and after World War One , the Great Migration caused many African Americans to move from rural areas of the country to the northern states. Many people flocked to Harlem, New York in hopes that they too would become a part of the culture phenomenon taking place. This culture boom became known as The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was an influential movement that “kindled a new black culture identity “(History.com). With the turning of the age it seemed the perfect opportunity for Afro- Americans to create a new identity. In Harlem Renaissance by Nathan Irvin Huggins, the author doesn’t answer just one general question, but instead questions the culture and identity crisis that enveloped this movement. He successfully brings light to the Harlem Renaissance and how it impacted white and African American culture. Many historians have picked up on the fact that African American culture and white American cultures are bound together, one could not exist or succeed without the other. Huggins uses this as his central idea, and investigates poetry, art, and photography to enlighten his audience on this incredible culture development. He is successful in his argument that the idea of a “New Negro” and the branching out of African Americans led to awareness of how both black and white cultures influence each other almost equally. Maintaining a formal writing style throughout the book, Huggins brings in a wealth of information from people who lived in this time period. At times this abundance of information becomes overwhelming and distracts from the main thesis. However, he reiterates his main ideas to create an overall understanding. Huggins brings in a lot of historical context to help the reader glean a better understa... ... middle of paper ... ...k like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe”. He is invisible because white Americans choose to keep seeing the stereotype of black Americans. The stereotype of black Americans caused racial blindness Ellison uses irony when he mentions the Liberty Paint Plant in chapter 10. This paint company is known for their famous Optic White paint color, the “purest” of whites, almost glowing in its brilliance. To make Liberty Paints ' Optic White color, the narrator “measured the glistening black drops, seeing them settle upon the surface and become blacker still, spreading suddenly out to the edges.” When the paint batch is mixed properly, the results are a bright white color. The symbolism in Liberty Paints ' signature color represents the importance of black people to American culture. It 's only when black is added to the paint mix that the paint can be the purest possible.
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